University of Wisconsin-Stout student Devon Manuele managed to stack up 23 milk crates and scale them before the crates came tumbling down at Stout Adventures.

Manuele, 20, a junior applied science major from North Prairie, hung in the air in a harness held aloft by spotters on the ground at the Dec. 5 event in the Sports and Fitness Center.

“It’s more about mind over matter,” Manuele said after being lowered to the ground. “It’s about balancing. You really have to concentrate where you’re balancing your weight. Once you stack up more crates, any little shake turns into an earthquake. It is really just fun. It is something really different that you don’t ever do.”

Each crate is about a foot high, meaning when he stacked 23 of them Manuele towered about 23 feet in the air.

Houston Taylor, Stout Adventures coordinator, said crate-stacking has been a popular activity for several years at UW-Stout. “It is all balance, and it is all about careful, controlled movements,” Taylor said.

Crate-stacking is a free event open to all students when it is held and helps introduce students to climbing, Taylor said.

Spectators cheered on crate climbers, urging them to keep going as they stacked milk crate after milk crate. Ground crews handed up milk crates to climbers as they got higher and higher off the ground.

Corrine Prince, 22, of Bloomer, a senior majoring in early childhood education, stacked up 17 crates.

“It’s tough to balance once you get a few crates up,” Prince said. “You need to keep your center of balance. It’s a little bit taxing on your legs because they are at awkward angles.”

Prince said she loves the exercise of climbing and the crate-stacking.

Manuele said at Stout Adventures everyone is supportive and cheering each other on to do their best. “This is where I de-stress,” Manuele said, noting being a part of Stout Adventures and climbing allows him to relax away from classes. “This is where I get out my emotion.”

Stout Adventures is an outdoor recreation program open to students, faculty and staff and the local community. Outdoor programming includes a challenge course, indoor climbing gym with two 30-foot walls, equipment rental including canoes, paddle boats, cross country skis and camping items, and trip and clinic programming. Free climbing is offered the first full week of each semester.

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Dunn County News reporter

Laura covers local/prep sports as well as school-related and general news in Dunn County. She joined The Dunn County News in October 2016. She can be contacted directly at or (715) 279-6721.

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